You are on page 1of 11

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION

SEAN COMBS, Case No. 2:12-cv-14528 Plaintiff, Hon. Victoria A. Roberts v. CITY OF BIRMINGHAM, a municipal corporation, LIEUTENANT MICHAEL ALBRECHT, in his individual and official capacities, POLICE OFFICER REBEKAH SPRINGER, in her individual and official capacities, POLICE OFFICER GINA POTTS, in her individual and official capacities, jointly and severally, Defendants. ________________________________________/ Matthew S. Kolodziejski (P71068) Law Office of Matthew S. Kolodziejski, PLLC Attorney for Plaintiff 500 Griswold Street, Suite 2340 Detroit, MI 48226 (586) 909-1696 mattkolo@comcast.net ________________________________________/ There is no other civil action between these parties arising out of the same transaction or occurrence as alleged in this Complaint pending in this Court, nor has any such action been previously filed and dismissed or transferred after having been assigned to a judge. PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND NOW COMES the Plaintiff, Sean Combs, by and through his attorney, Matthew S. Kolodziejski, and hereby complains against the above-named Defendants as follows:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE 1) This is an action for monetary damages brought by the Plaintiff, Sean Combs (Mr.
1

Combs), against the above-named Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C 1983, 1988. 2) 3) This Court has jurisdiction over Mr. Combs claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331, 1343. Venue is properly brought in this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391(b), as the Defendants all reside in, and the claims all arose in, the Eastern District of Michigan. 4) The amount in controversy exceeds seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00), exclusive of costs, interest, and attorney fees.

PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANTS 5) 6) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Mr. Combs was and is a resident of the State of Michigan. 7) At all times relevant to this Complaint, Defendant City of Birmingham was and is an organized municipal corporation existing under the laws of the State of Michigan. 8) At all times relevant to this Complaint, the City of Birmingham Police Department was and is a subdivision and/or department of the City of Birmingham. 9) At all times relevant to this Complaint, Defendant Lieutenant Michael Albrecht (Defendant Albrecht), Defendant Police Officer Rebekah Springer (Defendant Springer), and Defendant Police Officer Gina Potts (Defendant Potts), collectively (Defendant Police Officers), were employees of the City of Birmingham through the City of Birmingham Police Department. 10) All Defendant Police Officers were acting within the scope and course of their employment and under color of law. 11) All Defendant Police Officers are being sued in their individual and official capacities.

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS 12) 13) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. The incident complained of in this lawsuit occurred on or about April 13, 2012 in the City of Birmingham, County of Oakland, State of Michigan. 14) On that date Mr. Combs and his girlfriend, Lia Grabowski, were walking on South Old Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, MI. 15) Mr. Combs was exercising his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms by openly carrying a vintage rifle on his back. 16) Mr. Combs was eighteen (18) years old, and met all other legal requirements to possess and openly carry a firearm in the State of Michigan. 17) Mr. Combs was stopped while walking on South Old Woodward Avenue by Defendant Springer and Defendant Potts, who were on duty and in full Birmingham Police uniform. 18) Defendant Springer and Defendant Potts stopped and detained Mr. Combs against his will, and demanded that he provide identification. 19) Defendant Springer and Defendant Potts called for their supervisor, Defendant Albrecht, to come to the scene. 20) Defendant Albrecht arrived on the scene and also demanded that Mr. Combs provide identification. 21) 22) Defendant Albrecht became loud and belligerent, and threatened Mr. Combs with arrest. Mr. Combs complied with the Defendant Police Officers request to provide his identification. 23) Mr. Combs took his Michigan drivers license out of his wallet and handed it to Defendant Springer.

24)

After Mr. Combs provided his identification to Defendant Springer, Defendant Albrecht immediately arrested and handcuffed Mr. Combs, confiscated his rifle, and placed him in the back seat of a police car.

25)

Defendant Springer informed Defendant Albrecht that Mr. Combs was eighteen (18) years old.

26)

Defendant Albrecht nevertheless ordered that Mr. Combs be taken to the Birmingham Police Department and jailed.

27) 28)

Mr. Combs was booked and locked in a jail cell for several hours before posting bond. Mr. Combs did not commit any crime, and the Defendant Police Officers did not have probable cause to believe that he had committed any crime.

29)

Based upon the actions of the Defendant Police Officers and the information they provided to the Birmingham City Attorneys Office, Mr. Combs was charged with violating the following Birmingham City ordinances: brandishing a firearm (Section 74211), breach of the peace (Section 74-156), and resisting a police officer (Section 74-27).

30)

Defendant Police Officers provided knowingly false testimony against Mr. Combs at his jury trial in the 48th District Court.

31)

Specifically, the Defendant Police Officers falsely testified that Mr. Combs never provided his identification to them, and that he was acting in a loud and unruly manner.

32)

At the close of the city attorneys case 48th District Court Judge Marc Barron directed a verdict of not guilty on the charge of obstructing a police officer.

33)

The jury thereafter acquitted Mr. Combs of the remaining two charges of brandishing a firearm and disturbing the peace.

COUNT I 42 U.S.C. 1983 False Arrest 34) 35) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. All Defendant Police Officers acted under color of law but contrary to law, and intentionally and unreasonably deprived Mr. Combs of rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution, laws of the United States, and 42 U.S.C. 1983, including: a. Mr. Combs right to be free from false arrest, as guaranteed by Amendments IV and XIV of the United States Constitution, by arresting him without probable cause to believe that he had committed any crime; and b. Mr. Combs right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, as guaranteed by Amendments V and XIV of the United States Constitution. WHEREFORE, Mr. Combs demands judgment against all Defendants, for compensatory and punitive damages in whatever amount the jury may determine, plus costs, interest, and actual attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988.

COUNT II 42 U.S.C. 1983 False Imprisonment 36) 37) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. All Defendant Police Officers acted under color of law but contrary to law, and intentionally and unreasonably deprived Mr. Combs of rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution, laws of the United States, and 42 U.S.C. 1983, including: a. Mr. Combs right to be free from false imprisonment, as guaranteed by Amendments IV and XIV of the United States Constitution, by unlawfully imprisoning him against his will and without probable cause to believe that he had committed any crime; and b. Mr. Combs right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, as
5

guaranteed by Amendments V and XIV of the United States Constitution. WHEREFORE, Mr. Combs demands judgment against all Defendants, for compensatory and punitive damages in whatever amount the jury may determine, plus costs, interest, and actual attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988.

COUNT III 42 U.S.C. 1983 Malicious Prosecution 38) 39) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. All Defendant Police Officers acted under color of law but contrary to law, and intentionally and unreasonably deprived Mr. Combs of rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution, laws of the United States, and 42 U.S.C. 1983, including: a. Mr. Combs right to be free from a malicious prosecution, as guaranteed by Amendments IV and XIV of the United States Constitution, by causing criminal proceedings to be initiated against him without probable cause to believe that he committed a crime, and by providing false testimony against him at trial; and b. Mr. Combs right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, as guaranteed by Amendments V and XIV of the United States Constitution. WHEREFORE, Mr. Combs demands judgment against all Defendants, for compensatory and punitive damages in whatever amount the jury may determine, plus costs, interest, and actual attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988.

COUNT IV 42 U.S.C. 1983 Second Amendment Violation 40) 41) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. All Defendant Police Officers acted under color of law but contrary to law, and

intentionally and unreasonably deprived Mr. Combs of rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution, laws of the United States, and 42 U.S.C. 1983, including: a. Mr. Combs right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by Amendments II and XIV of the United States Constitution; and b. Mr. Combs right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, as guaranteed by Amendments V and XIV of the United States Constitution. WHEREFORE, Mr. Combs demands judgment against all Defendants, for compensatory and punitive damages in whatever amount the jury may determine, plus costs, interest, and actual attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988.

COUNT V 42 U.S.C. 1983 Municipal Liability 42) The City of Birmingham has established a practice, policy, and/or custom of improperly training, re-training, instructing, supervising, disciplining, and/or allowing its police officers to enforce ordinances and state law without regard to the constitutional rights of citizens to be free from violations of the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, including false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. 43) The City of Birmingham has established a practice, policy, and/or custom of inadequately and improperly investigating complaints of police misconduct when it was known or apparent to the City of Birmingham that its police officers have violated the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of individuals in the manner complained of in this lawsuit. 44) Due to the above-described practices, policies, and/or customs, acts of police misconduct were tolerated by the City of Birmingham, and its police officers believed that they were

free to perform their duties without regard to the rights of individuals and without fear of any consequences or discipline. 45) The above-described practices, policies, and/or customs demonstrate deliberate indifference by the City of Birmingham towards the rights of individuals in general, and Mr. Combs in particular. 46) The above-described practices, policies, customs, and deliberate indifference of the City of Birmingham were the moving force that directly and proximately caused Mr. Combs damages. WHEREFORE, Mr. Combs demands judgment against all Defendants, for compensatory and punitive damages in whatever amount the jury may determine, plus costs, interest, and actual attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988.

DAMAGES 47) 48) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. As a direct and proximate result of the acts and/or omissions of all Defendants as stated within this Complaint, Mr. Combs suffered injuries and damages, including, but not limited to: a. Loss of liberty and cherished constitutional rights; b. Emotional distress, humiliation, outrage, indignity, anguish, and shock; c. Unwanted and offensive physical contact; d. Damage to his reputation; e. Lost wages; f. Attorney fees and costs; g. Other damages currently unascertainable.
8

CONCLUSION AND RELIEF REQUESTED 49) Mr. Combs re-alleges and incorporates by reference all preceding paragraphs. WHEREFORE, Mr. Combs demands judgment against all Defendants, jointly and severally, for compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages in whatever amount the jury may determine, plus costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and actual attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C 1988.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/Matthew S. Kolodziejski Matthew S. Kolodziejski (P71068) Law Office of Matthew S. Kolodziejski, PLLC Attorney for Plaintiff 500 Griswold Street, Suite 2340 Detroit, MI 48226 (586) 909-1696 mattkolo@comcast.net

Dated: October 12, 2012

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION

SEAN COMBS, Case No. Plaintiff, Hon. v. CITY OF BIRMINGHAM, a municipal corporation, LIEUTENANT MICHAEL ALBRECHT, in his individual and official capacities, POLICE OFFICER REBEKAH SPRINGER, in her individual and official capacities, POLICE OFFICER GINA POTTS, in her individual and official capacities, jointly and severally, Defendants. ________________________________________/ Matthew S. Kolodziejski (P71068) Law Office of Matthew S. Kolodziejski, PLLC Attorney for Plaintiff 500 Griswold Street, Suite 2340 Detroit, MI 48226 (586) 909-1696 mattkolo@comcast.net ________________________________________/ PLAINTIFFS JURY DEMAND NOW COMES the Plaintiff, Sean Combs, by and through his attorney, Matthew S. Kolodziejski, and hereby demands a jury trial on all issues.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/Matthew S. Kolodziejski Matthew S. Kolodziejski (P71068) Law Office of Matthew S. Kolodziejski, PLLC Attorney for Plaintiff
10

500 Griswold Street, Suite 2340 Detroit, MI 48226 (586) 909-1696 mattkolo@comcast.net

Dated: October 12, 2012

11